Best dang recording (2000)

Nounsville by Dang Head

Folk-grounded exuberance with startling elements of random noise might best describe Nounsville, the fifteen-song offering from Montana transplant J-ME Smith, aka Dang Head. Fans of musical deconstruction could argue that the ornery fella is merely skippin' down the junkyard path of poetic stray animals with a butterfly net -- and they'd be right. But the critters, duly nabbed (with the help of a few long-lost members from Questa, New Mexico's Lords of Howling), deserve a zoo of their own, and they get one on Smith's homegrown Discobolus imprint. It's an arresting batch of enjoyable songs, all right, strewn with dadaist humor, the occasional broken instrument and that unique mix of blessings and curses that can't help but glitter in the dust.


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